Hippie’s Day Out
I’ve been spoiled with a trip out this week… grocery shopping. It sounds like I’m joking, but I’m really not! With Himself working away, we had to ‘set me up’ with all the easy-to-make food we could get our hands on. It mostly consists of cooking vats of food and storing them in the freezer in old chinese take-out boxes.
The usual prep to go out ensued; packing the ‘day bag’ with the Sh’wee (Shewee! …you never know!), the car cane, making sure I was on top of tablets and more to spare, water… wrestling with shoes, can’t do it, Himself steps in… “don’t forget the cushion for the car”.
“Right, got everything? Let’s go”.
Something most of the time I considered to be a chore, I was truly looking forward to – another part of the normality of my ‘old life’ returning. No wheelchair for me either, I was considering this as part of my ‘rehabilitation’, my integration back into daily living. I did feel a little guilt that Himself was now subject to a lengthier shopping trip – with me in tow it was inevitable that things may take a little longer. Thank goodness the shopping list was not a long one, that’s all I can say!
As soon as we entered the supermarket, I encountered my first issue… and injury in fact. One of the nerve-wracking parts of facing the transition to eventually walking unaided, is that your crutch is a support in the physical sense and also the psychological sense. I know after every single surgery I have gone through, when I should be excited and celebrating the fact that I am progressing and moving towards not physically needing the crutches anymore, a ball of anxiety knots up my stomach and consumes me in that moment of fear. “Will I be able to cope …what if I get stuck and can’t get back… people won’t SEE that I have mobility issues and will take less care around me when walking by… am I ready?”.
Although I am a long way from ditching my walking aids just yet, what happened next showed me more than anything that the crutch is there to support me – but not in the bigger way I thought it did. Especially when it comes to others around you, there is NOTHING you can do about that.
Standing in the middle of the aisle, crutch in one hand, shopping list in the other, I was feeling particularly independent and I’m not afraid to say, proud of myself. Suddenly I was blindsided by a woman dashing down the centre of the aisle with her colossal oversized bag, which due to its sheer volume, meant the lady in question had no perception of her own proximity in relation to others. In that moment, as a huge surge of pain went through my surgical side and by the utter intensity of it, feeling like I had been battered in some sort of rugby or football tackle… I let out an almighty “EEEEAAAAWWWWWW”
As it turned out, it couldn’t have been as severe as a tackle, as through pained eyes looking myself up and down, I realised I was still standing, upright, exactly where she’d barged passed me. Miss-In-A-Rush glanced back without slowing down, a look of “are you serious?” across her face in response to my outburst. I was serious. Did she have decorative knives across her bag that may have injured me? No. What I actually felt was the severity of the nerve damage across my hip and thigh. A shock it was too and only further added to my anxiety about others getting so close to me. My crutch certainly didn’t serve as a warning to that lady to be careful in my personal space, she was obviously more confident about manoeuvring that aisle than I was and didn’t give it a second thought. When in the car and on the receiving end of someone else’s inconsiderate driving, I try my best to adopt a stance of ‘maybe they’re late/going to an emergency/had some bad news’, as opposed to the frequently favoured road rage outburst (I don’t always succeed in my mindful approach I hasten to add!). After quick consideration, I embraced the more mindful tactic on this occasion, it’s important to not have any recovery progress stifled, physically or psychologically – so carry on regardless, get back on the horse and don’t let them grind you down!
But honestly, I really feel someone should install proximity sensors on that woman… or me, for that matter! An alarm could go off every time someone enters my personal space, warning them not to get any closer. Actually, that sounds rather costly – I could just do the inexpensive version and cut straight to the protecting-myself element of this plan and do this:
At week 7 now, things are looking pretty static. Not much change I feel. However, by week 12 things may look very different…